Do you care about online reviews?

Grant Gooley
I'm curious to know how many people really concentrate on reviews as a reputation management tool? What works better for you, Google Reviews? Dealer Rater? Yelp? How should we promote the review process to our customers? If anyone has ANY insight on this, it would be really helpful! Thank-you!
Jim Bell
It is getting to be very important. I don't think it matters where you have focus on. I have seen where we have had a form submission where they were asking for a particular sales person just because of their online reviews. I always say focus on one for a month or two, then move on to the next site for a while, and then a 3rd and just build it up.
Lindsey Stuart
Yelp is a SCAMMY Sham! I began focusing on YELP! without purchasing their advertising program. If you fail to purchase their advertising program, they will hold your good reviews offsite and only post your negative reviews. I personally like google reviews. I feel they are the most transparent and relative to the customers. They also boost your organic results more so than Dealer Rater. Dealer Rater is not really very popular or understood by consumers yet we dealers continue to use them. *Yes, I believe reviews are important. However, I think most consumers realize that so many reviews are scrubbed and the negative reviews become buried once a dealer signs up with a 3rd party.
Aaron Warner
Consumer product reviews have long been huge when people are considering buying anything. We all know dealership reviews are just as big. I believe actual reviews of specific staff members like DealerRater offers are underutilized in our business. People do not seem to seek them out as often right now but one of my best practices when I was on the floor was providing a hyperlink to my personal DealerRater review page as part of my email signature. Clients would often make comments about having read them.
Ryan Leslie
Jim and Aaron, you guys are right on the money! The employee is the key! I can't tell you how many times I've heard from sales professionals that their personal reviews were earning them the sale. It makes sense. If 95% do online research prior to stepping across the threshold, and review content populates all over SERP1 organically, why should we be surprised that consumers call in for a specific person they know will meet their needs based on a digital evidence manual instead of asking for the used car department? Salespeople need to get very serious about their personal branding strategy online. I believe that dealers need to get equally as serious about hiring only those sales professionals that they are willing to "put their name on" online too. Grant, I'm not in a sales function with DealerRater, I can't SELL you anything, but I CAN be a resource and answer questions for you if you'd like. The review sites you've referenced are very different from one another in many respects and require individual strategies for collection of reviews and leveraging of content. Happy to chat with you if you'd like, feel free to call me at 781.697.3562 or pm me here on DrivingSales. You won't get a salespitch from me, I promise. Lindsey, I'm not sure why you feel that way, and I'm not trying to be confrontational, but the data simply doesn't support your statements. DealerRater actually had record high traffic in February 2014 on our own property and our recent partnership with Kelley Blue Book only added to the reach of the content. If anything, eyeballs on the site and content are on the rise. Would you be willing to chat with me offline?
Scott Nelson
I certainly look at ratings as a consumer. They can be the difference between me making a purchase. If a product, person or place has terrible reviews, why would I want to risk it? If they have rave reviews, I will flock to it.

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